FSSAI: Milk in In­dia is largely safe, even though qual­ity is­sues per­sist

FSSAI: Milk in In­dia is largely safe, even though qual­ity is­sues per­sist

Progressive Grocer (India) - - News -

The In­terim re­port of the Na­tional Milk Qual­ity Sur­vey, 2018, re­leased re­cently by the FSSAI re­veals that milk in In­dia is largely safe. In a large num­ber of sam­ples, very few sam­ples were found to be adul­ter­ated. Over 90% of the sam­ples were found safe in the sur­vey. This is by far the largest sys­tem­atic Sur­vey of milk both in terms of sam­ple size (6432 sam­ples) and num­bers of pa­ram­e­ters (4 qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters, 12 adul­ter­ants; and 4 con­tam­i­nants – 93 an­tibi­otics residues, 18 pes­ti­cides residues, Afla­toxin M1 and Am­mo­nium Sul­phate).

The sur­vey was con­ducted over a pe­riod of six months be­tween May and Oc­to­ber, 2018. 41% (2607) sam­ples were for pro­cessed milk and re­main­ing 59% (3825) were of raw milk. Of the pro­cessed milk, 60% were toned milk, 20% full-cream milk, 15% stan­dard milk and 5% dou­ble toned milk. Of the raw milk, one third each were sam­ples of cow, buf­falo and mixed milk. The sur­vey cov­ered only liq­uid milk and not the milk products. The sur­vey also did not cover mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal examination of the sam­ples.

Key find­ings of the sur­vey are: 1) Milk in In­dia is largely free from adul­ter­ants that ren­der it un­safe for con­sump­tion. Merely 12 (out of a to­tal of 6,432) sam­ples had adul­ter­ants that af­fect the safety of milk. The oc­cur­rence of such adul­ter­ants is in­signif­i­cant con­sid­er­ing the sam­ple size in the sur­vey. 2) This is the first sur­vey that an­a­lyzed con­tam­i­nants in­clud­ing residues of pes­ti­cides, an­tibi­otics, Afla­toxin and Am­mo­nium sul­phate in milk. Less than 10% (638 out of 6,432 sam­ples) had con­tam­i­nants. In all these cases, milk is get­ting con­tam­i­nated due to poor qual­ity of feed, ir­re­spon­si­ble use of an­tibi­otics and poor farm prac­tices. 3) There is no con­cern at all due to pes­ti­cides residues. Only 1.2% of the sam­ples failed on ac­count of an­tibi­otics residues above tol­er­ance level and it was mainly due to oxyte­tra­cy­cline used to treat an­i­mals with bovine mas­ti­tis. 4) Afla­toxin M1 was de­tected in 368 (out of 6,432 sam­ples), that is 5.7% of the sam­ples had Afla­toxin at lev­els above the per­mis­si­ble limit. Oc­cur­rence of Afla­toxin does not amount to will­ful adul­ter­ation, but is di­rectly re­lated to feed qual­ity and has bearing on hu­man health. 5) Am­mo­nium sul­phate was de­tected in 195 (out of 6,432 sam­ples), that is 3 % sam­ples of milk. Am­mo­nium com­pounds in­clud­ing am­mo­nium sul­phate are re­port­edly added to feed to en­hance pro­tein in­take of an­i­mals. Cur­rently, FSSAI reg­u­la­tions do not pre­scribe any lim­its for am­mo­nium sul­phate in milk. Fur­ther, study is re­quired to ver­ify nat­u­ral lev­els of am­mo­nia and its sul­phate in milk and fix­ing tol­er­ance lim­its, if any for the same. 6) The milk was tested for lev­els of fat

and SNF in this sur­vey against lim­its of fat and SNF for var­i­ous types of milk. It is noted that as many as 1261 (19.6%) of the sam­ples did not meet the limit set for SNF. In an­other 218 sam­ples (3.4%) of the to­tal, Sugar and Mal­todex­trin was found to be added. Sugar and Mal­todex­trin is some­times added to raise the level of SNF. 7) The sur­vey found that non-com­pli­ance on Fat and SNF qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters is higher in raw milk than in pro­cessed milk, but on added Sugar and Mal­todex­trin, non-com­pli­ance is mostly in pro­cessed milk. Un­like non-com­pli­ance on safety pa­ram­e­ters, non-com­pli­ance on ac­count of qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters is across all States / UTS, even though ex­tent of such non-com­pli­ance varies. 8) As far as raw milk is con­cerned, it must be stated that this could be ei­ther due to breed of cat­tle, its feed and rear­ing prac­tices or due to di­lu­tion of milk with water. Ad­di­tion of water in it­self is not a safety is­sue un­less there is con­cern about the qual­ity of water added that calls for de­tailed mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal examination. 9) Non­com­pli­ance on qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters in pro­cessed milk is quite large, even though it is lower than raw milk. This is a mat­ter of con­cern and needs to be ad­dressed through var­i­ous mea­sures. High per­cent­age of non­com­pli­ance sam­ples how­ever does not sug­gest that pro­por­tion­ate vol­ume of pro­cessed milk is non-com­pli­ant, since sam­ples are not ad­justed by ca­pac­ity of milk pro­cess­ing plants. It is likely that a large num­ber of sam­ples are

taken from nu­mer­ous smaller milk pro­cess­ing plants.

Com­ment­ing on the milk sur­vey, CEO, FSSAI, Pawan Agar­wal said that this sys­tem­atic and very large sur­vey pro­vides us solid base­line data and a ro­bust frame­work for con­tin­u­ous mon­i­tor­ing of the safety and qual­ity of milk in the coun­try. Whereas, there should be zero-tol­er­ance to adul­ter­ation in milk, con­cerns of qual­ity due to con­tam­i­nants need to be ad­dressed over a pe­riod of time by tak­ing large scale aware­ness drive and pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion at the pri­mary pro­duc­tion level. He ex­pressed con­cern about large num­bers of sam­ples of pro­cessed milk found non-com­pli­ant on qual­ity pa­ram­e­ters. He pointed that the draft re­port of the sur­vey would soon be shared with all stake­hold­ers and then pre­ven­tive and cor­rec­tive ac­tion would be taken to fur­ther im­prove the qual­ity of milk in the coun­try. These mea­sures could in­clude – es­tab­lish­ing a ro­bust mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem for safety and qual­ity of milk from pro­cess­ing plants in the coun­try in­clud­ing third party au­dits for root cause anal­y­sis, manda­tory train­ing of food safety su­per­vi­sors, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and reg­is­tra­tion of milk men that sup­ply raw milk direct to con­sumers and ac­tion to elim­i­nate con­tam­i­nants in pri­mary pro­duc­tion of milk.

Pawan Agar­wal, CEO, FSSAI

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.